The Learning Place in Syracuse: doors are open

There are no sleepless nights over high tuition or low GPAs. Letters of acceptance or rejection never make it to your mailbox. At the Learning Place education is paramount, no matter the age. At 1443 East Genesee Street, a 100 year old wooden structure, masquerading as a large white washed family dwelling, has had the Learning Place shingles hanging for over 15 years, according to Linda Green, the executive director and only paid staff person.

People of different ages, with different needs, enter the Learning Place daily. Some are mandated, others come on their own. Trained tutors are available using one on one teaching techniques. As students learn, they advance and begin to help other students. Learning Place programs include basic literacy, financial workshops, garden programs and a summer reading program.

"We are a not for profit organization," Green says, "and always in need of help. We have 80 to 100 volunteers and 40 to 60 tutors. We receive referrals from about 20 local agencies, and many students from the Justice system, on probation or parole. I feel we are making a difference in many people's lives, empowering them through education. We are open 9 a.m. to 6 p.m., Monday through Friday, and you can just walk right in."

Myron Blackmon is a frequent contributor to the City Eagle.

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